Qi articles and news

Hardware and neworks

What is the best practice for backing up your server?

Rationalising your server backup protocol and being disaster recovery ready with Qi Backup & Disaster Recovery would be deemed best practice as the backup landscape continues to evolve.

 

What has been the best historic practice for SME’s in the UK? 

USB backups and Cloud backups have had a place in the data security process for many years.   

These processes have been recommended and advocated by hardware support businesses (including Qi) because they work. 

 

Why are best server backup practice recommendations changing? 

USB backups and Cloud backups merely advise us that they have been done – not the usability of the data that sits within that backup. 

FACT 

Qi has to date not encountered a data restore from these methods that is neither usable nor where integrity is compromised.  It is also true to say that the need to effect a business critical data restore is the rarity rather than the norm and backups are not checked for integrity and usability as a matter of course beyond the notifications that backup software provides. 

However, often both USB and Cloud backups are only completed daily and in some cases businesses can lose almost a day’s work if a data corruption or server failure happens at the worst time of day. 

USB backups rely on human intervention and as we all know – we are fallible and can ‘forget’ to change USB discs or go on holiday and omit to allocate the task of changing the discs over. 

What’s the difference between having good server backups and the best server backup protocol with Disaster Recovery? 

  • The key word is recovery. 
  • The time it takes your business to recover from a server failure. 
  • Time is money. 
  • Time to recover needs to be reduced from days or weeks to merely hours. 

Consider this: 

If a server room is flooded or fire damaged or your server falls over permanently there is an inevitable time lapse.  In that time your data is held either on USB or in the Cloud or perhaps both (if your USB back was not damaged as part of the flood, fire or server death) 

 You can not process as a business without the server that hosts your perpetually licenced software.  Getting a new onsite server ordered and provisioned will take at least 10 days.  Provisioning a full private Azure server is costly and may not run your software effectively. 

What happens if my external server backup box goes up in flames along with my server? 

A replacement box will be provisioned from your Cloud backup and sent to you on a 48-hour service restoring your two pronged single backup solution to full capacity.  Remember it is your Cloud element of this solution which provisions your interim cloud server space – not the box. 

 

 The benefits of combining the ‘hard’ and ‘cloud’ hybrid server backups to form unified solution 

  • A unified backup provides you with a fast on site backup which is then replicated to the cloud – several times a day (we have tested hourly backups) with an additional disaster recovery option to quickly boot up and provision an interim cloud server from which your business can continue to process whilst your server is replaced – within minutes of your server failure. 
  • Even Sage 50 Accounts and Manufacturing will run as single user on your interim server.  You can still process business critical information and keep working until your permanent server is in situ. 
  • As you process on your interim cloud server – the information is automatically backed up to the office-based box (hard backup) which enables a speedy restore once you have replaced your server. 
  • This solution also provides users with visual proof on a daily basis that your cloud backups have resulted in usable data (a screen shot proves that your interim server is running in the cloud).  
  • Even if you are not using the interim server, because your server has not failed – you will still get proof every day that your disaster recovery server space is ready to save the day should the worst happen. 
  • This solution provides you with the ideal Disaster Recovery solution if you are a small to medium sized business. 
  • Our solution includes Rapid Restore which is designed to enable your system recover from an attack such as ransomware by restoring only the files that been changed since the last back up.

(Caveat:  This doesn’t remove the need for antivirus software such as Sophos Intercept X which limits the damage in the first place by kicking in as soon as any device has been compromised thus preventing the virus cascading through your network.)

In summary 

You can rationalise your server backup protocols whilst provisioning for Disaster Recovery 

Forget about USB discs and which one to use on which day and diarising to replace them. 

The combined backup and Data Recovery solution backs up – multiple times a day which means that if your server goes down you will lose the minimum amount of processing. 

You will be able to prove to your supply chain that you have Disaster Recovery under control 

 

What’s the Cost? 

As a cost example if you have a single server* your monthly cost for infinite data retention will be £150 plus VAT.  This will be in your only server backup and disaster recovery cost.    

*single terabyte of data 

This solution is scalable so please call Qi if you have multiple servers or are unsure about the data levels you need. 

No human intervention is required which removes the scope for forgetting to change your USB or going on holiday and not changing it at all. 

 

 

Please contact Qi to discuss the next steps for this solution and for a detailed proposal